THUS SPOKE FRED: On Consolidation (Chapter 21)

O ye, my brothers and sisters of industry. Beware of those who speak in the name of coexistence. You, my followers, exist. Your enemies also exist. One of you, eventually, will not.  Coexistence is the creeping incrementalism of your demise. Do not pray for a good coexistence. Rather pray for your own existence. Then act.

Fred had left his cave of hewing and had spent years traveling the roads to meet with various alchemists, soothsayers and wizards. There were many more than he had ever imagined. Some of these creators had invited Fred to travel with them. He declined. His path remained to be blazed. Vines and undergrowth impeded his way. To take up the path with others would only slow his journey. And so he continued to travel alone.

One day he was working his way out of a rather dark but not-so-daunting forest. He saw a clearing open up before him. Beyond the clearing was a sea so beautiful that it drew him nearer. It was then that he noticed the trees. Instead of leaning away from the sea they leaned toward it; the result of seaward winds.

Fred thus spoke to no one and Everyone. “O Sea so beautiful, you pull this strong tree as though it lusts for You. The birds sail upward when moving toward the land, yet downward and toward You when approaching Thee. Do You pull Yourself toward the moon or does Your magnetism pull the moon toward You? O Sea so beautiful, what mysteries do You hold that make the trees, the birds, the moon and I wish to be part of You?”

Wishing mightily Fred closed his eyes and raised his arms as if on a cruciform. The breeze caught his cloak and made a web between his body and the upraised arms. The breeze escalated into a wind, the cloak billowed and Fred was lifted from his own feet.

As he sailed over the ocean his body was parallel to the water. Even though the sun was bright there was no reflection of it upon the waters surface. The sea was clear, as if made of glass.

“O beautiful and magnetic Sea, what treasures You show to me. There is the Methuselah of the sea, a crustacean with a cloak of many colors. And there, over there, is the fish that never sees two sides to any story, the flounder. Look! The clawless lobster. Always the victim of others hunger. And a lion fish, ready to roar, flashing his fins. Not the toothless lion found in man but a real lion, ready to imbed his venomous dorsal into those threatening. There, there in the cave! The moray eel. Ugly to behold. Waiting to sink his bacteria laden teeth into any thing near. But yet an eel of power. An eel to avoid. You display Your power and might O eel with a will.”

“Yes O great Sea. You have age, beauty and power in your grasp. You do not confuse any story with too many sides. You define black from white. Gray is not in your spectrum. But it is with man. You have great wisdom O magnetic Sea.”

Thus spoke Fred as he perused the depths.

Two days were spent sailing over the Sea. With each hour Fred’s respect and love for It grew. Power could be found in the sea creatures and in the Sea’s waves. The currents carried cool water toward the warm. Where the currents met, the sea creatures mated and multiplied. Food was abundant for the little ones.

Over the years they grew to the size that fit them best. The crustacean was a tough meal and was for the most part avoided. The flounder lay motionless and could not be seen. The myriads of clawless lobsters traveling, all in a line along the bottom, were vulnerable. Predators had their fill and quickly moved on, allowing the remainder to multiply. This fate was the opposite of the Morays. Each one took up a cave until all caves were filled. Then each cave-less eel remaining was vulnerable; thus limiting their numbers as they were devoured by others. The lion fish was so ugly that no other one chose to mate with him; and this limited his numbers.

“O you beautiful and cyclic Sea. The truth lay at Your depths, hidden from man’s eyes. Each of Your creatures multiplies, increasing its existence asymptotically. But wait! If that were true then the Sea would be full. The water would spill over Its dunes and inundate the land.”

Thus spoke Fred in his own confusion.

A small cloud appeared as Fred continued to espy the sea bottom. And it spoke thusly to Fred.

“Behold not the individual fish but rather the aggregation of fishes of the same type. Behold the large, the medium and the small. Behold their numbers.”

And Fred so beheld the aggregations. Day after day he saw them. Day after day he wondered at the cloud with the voice. What was it saying?

It was then that he realized he could hear the fish speak. The large aggregations of small fish as well as the small aggregations of large fish.

“We are victims of the Sea” said the large aggregations of small ones. “We are tossed and turned at every whim of the Seas currents. Up and down. Down and up. Sideways we lurch, and in circles like cyclones of fish. What are we to do? What are we to do?  Thrice. What are we to do?”

The small aggregations of the large also had lamentations. “We are the most powerful of the Sea’s creatures. Why does the Sea hide Its bounty? We see our food and the Sea’s currents keep it from us. As we move up, they move down, as we move left, they move right. We become dizzy when chasing these cyclonic little ones.”

And the large ones had an idea. “Let us consolidate” they said in unison, “Let us consolidate.” They found the great clouds of aggregations of the little ones and spoke to them likewise.

“We see that you are tossed and turned at every whim of this ruthless Sea. The Sea does not know what it does to you. We should consolidate. We are large and not at the mercy of the Sea. Its currents have no effect upon us. We offer you shelter within our domain. Join us and you will be free to pursue your happiness without turbulence.”

The aggregations of small fish made “erping” sounds of joy. They traveled throughout the Sea telling the aggregates of other fish “Let us consolidate. Let us consolidate.” Three times before the rooster fish crowed. “Let us consolidate.”

Masses and masses of aggregates of small fish gathered near the large fish. “How do we consolidate?” they asked. “How do we avoid the whims of the Sea? How do we avoid Its lack of mercy?”

And the big fishes answered “My mouth is large and my stomach is even larger. I will open my mouth and you can make your home there and within my stomach.” 

Thus spoke the larger fishes.

The small fish squeaked and squealed with joy. They were not squeamish at the thoughts of entering the large fish. The turned and twisted until all squeezed in. It was not long before their joyful noises were squelched. The large fishes’ stomachs squegged and all was quiet except for the sque-teague weakfish. They were too lazy to even conceive or consider consenting to the concept of consolidation. Making the grand concession they simply emitted an “O my!” “O my!” And on the third “O my!” they were also promptly gobbled up by the larger fishes.

Fred spoke thusly;

                        “Let me the hell out of here!”

And he flew away, flew away, all the way home.

Once out of the reach of the magnetic pull of Sea he settled down for a full year in his cave. He knapped contracts with others and cleaned up the cave.

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About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
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